Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-23-12, 12:11 PM   #1
MudPie
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
MudPie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southern California
Bikes:
Posts: 1,874
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
CO2 Cartridge Refill?

I believe empty CO2 cartridges can be recycled as steel, but can they be refilled?

I have not yet converted to CO2 but the convenience factor makes them mighty attractive. It just seems like a waste to recycle the empties, considering the all the energy used to crush, melt and reform the steel. Sure recycling is better than burying in a landfill, but if the empties can be refilled, that'd be better.
MudPie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-12, 12:22 PM   #2
Bianchigirll 
Bianchi Goddess
 
Bianchigirll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Camp Hill, PA
Bikes: Too many to list here check my signature.
Posts: 22,422
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
I do not think the design lends itself to easily refilling them and I am certain it could not be done at home.
__________________
Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
Bianchigirll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-12, 12:22 PM   #3
DiabloScott
It's MY mountain
 
DiabloScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mt.Diablo
Bikes:
Posts: 6,706
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 78 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MudPie View Post
can they be refilled?
Inflators puncture the seal at the top of the canister, refilling them would mean re-establishing that seal. Not impossible, but not something you could do yourself and not something that any CO2 suppliers are doing to my knowledge. While the empty cart is a visible indicator of the waste, there's almost surely something you could do elsewhere in your lifestyle that would have a bigger effect than not recycling a few carts per year.
DiabloScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-12, 12:32 PM   #4
jimc101
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Bikes:
Posts: 4,747
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
CO2 cartridges are single use items, recycle them yes, but re-sealing / re-using no
jimc101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-12, 01:53 PM   #5
SumoMuffin
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
 
SumoMuffin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SW Virginia
Bikes: Specialized Tarmac
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Possible: yes, convenient and safe: no. It would involve putting dry ice into the canister (not easy through that little hole), then sealing it off with molten metal. You would also have to get the amount of dry ice just right into each one or else you could have exploding cartridges. Another danger would be having the hot metal used for sealing it fall onto the dry ice, causing it to rapidly sublimate and explode. Just recycle them. I keep my co2 charger in my flat kt and only use it for flats on the road, I only use a few cartridges per year if that. Using it only for emergency situations and a pump for regular pressurizing should keep your consumption footprint low.
SumoMuffin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-12, 02:19 PM   #6
Wordbiker
Pwnerer
 
Wordbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Pagosa Springs, CO, USA
Bikes: Road, MTB, Cruiser, Chopper, BMX
Posts: 2,907
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, you could go with something like this, but it's going to weigh a bit more than a disposable cartridge.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Ski, bike and wish I was gay.
Wordbiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-12, 02:30 PM   #7
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,870
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 229 Post(s)
Tire pumps recharge every time you pull the plunger handle back..

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-13-14 at 05:15 PM.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-12, 02:38 PM   #8
BHOFM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NW Arkansas
Bikes: Too many to count
Posts: 757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The transport of the used cylinders would exceed the cost of
the cylinders. The process of doing it would be simple but with
two way transportation it would cost more.
BHOFM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-12, 02:41 PM   #9
MudPie
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
MudPie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southern California
Bikes:
Posts: 1,874
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks all. I was *hoping* that there was a commercial source that would refill them but you all confirmed my suspicions. As a few pointed out, a cyclist's consumption isn't all that great. I'd probably use three or four a year.
MudPie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-12, 06:14 PM   #10
skydog6653
Senior Member
 
skydog6653's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 149
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Question: What was the last thing the CO2 refiller said?









Answer: Hey, ya' all; watch this!
skydog6653 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-12, 07:49 PM   #11
onespeedbiker
Retro Grouch
 
onespeedbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Bikes: Yes
Posts: 2,210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MudPie View Post
Thanks all. I was *hoping* that there was a commercial source that would refill them but you all confirmed my suspicions. As a few pointed out, a cyclist's consumption isn't all that great. I'd probably use three or four a year.
this is worth a watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpIW2oX7rI0
onespeedbiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-12, 08:30 PM   #12
MudPie
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
MudPie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southern California
Bikes:
Posts: 1,874
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
Wow, pretty amazing from an engineering and manufacturing standpoint. I like how a single disk of metal is progressively formed into a cylinder with neck.
MudPie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-12, 09:04 PM   #13
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
Posts: 28,776
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by skydog6653 View Post
Question: What was the last thing the CO2 refiller said?

Answer: Hey, ya' all; watch this!
Not quite. The real quote was:

"Hey, hold my beer and watch this!"
HillRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-12, 10:31 PM   #14
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Posts: 29,430
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BHOFM View Post
The transport of the used cylinders would exceed the cost of
the cylinders. The process of doing it would be simple but with
two way transportation it would cost more.

+1

This is the key
. It would be simple for the factory to melt off the solder and put cartridges back into the production line, but the logistics involved would probably have an environmental cost higher than simply recycling the steel.

It's somewhat analogous to soda bottles and cans. They used to be washed and refilled, but it turns out to work out better if they're simply crushed and recycled raw material.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-12, 08:34 PM   #15
Bezalel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: City of Brotherly Love
Bikes: Raleigh Companion, Nashbar Touring, Novara DiVano, Trek FX 7.1, Giant Upland
Posts: 1,508
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
AFAIK the smallest refillable CO2 container is a 9 ounce paintball tank but the regulators cost about as much as a small compresser.
Bezalel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-12, 09:57 PM   #16
jsharr
You Know!? For Kids!
 
jsharr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Just NW of Richardson Bike Mart
Bikes: '05 Trek 1200 / '90 Trek 8000 / '? Falcon Europa
Posts: 6,157
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
You can buy a refillable 16g cartridge for $20 from this guy: http://www.fizzgiz.com/Refillable16gOrderForm.htm

Or follow a link on his page on how to make your own refillable cartridge.

Whether or not it will work with your inflator is another matter entirely.
__________________
Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
Quote:
Originally Posted by colorider View Post
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
jsharr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-12, 10:38 AM   #17
Looigi
Senior Member
 
Looigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 8,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The manufacturing process is pretty amazing. They make big tanks, like scuba cylinders, the same way:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36MGPDjJWRE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAgSU6BCpsY
Looigi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-12, 01:43 PM   #18
ThermionicScott 
Gratuitous glib and snark
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)
Posts: 13,169
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MudPie View Post
I believe empty CO2 cartridges can be recycled as steel, but can they be refilled?

I have not yet converted to CO2 but the convenience factor makes them mighty attractive. It just seems like a waste to recycle the empties, considering the all the energy used to crush, melt and reform the steel. Sure recycling is better than burying in a landfill, but if the empties can be refilled, that'd be better.
Gosh, if only there were a device to use the outside air to pump up tires so we didn't need to keep using these wasteful cartridges.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-12, 06:22 PM   #19
sknhgy 
Dirt Bomb
 
sknhgy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Illinois
Bikes:
Posts: 2,621
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
Just a thought. What if you drilled the round end and installed a tire valve. Then you reseal the puncture hole with solder. Then you pump it up with a pump or compressor.
But like I said - it's just a thought.
__________________
more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.
sknhgy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-12, 06:42 PM   #20
irishbill76
Senior Member
 
irishbill76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Bolton, UK
Bikes: '11 Dawes Vantage
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Gosh, if only there were a device to use the outside air to pump up tires so we didn't need to keep using these wasteful cartridges.
Its all about weight saving my friend. Cartridges weigh less than some stupidly heavy alloy mini-pump that you buy once and never have to pay out for again. Personally, I'm off to the bike shop tomorrow for some titanium plated carbon-fibre brake straddle cables for my 40 pound tourer. The saving of 0.5 grams will make that impossible hill sooooooooo much easier
irishbill76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-12, 07:16 PM   #21
kamtsa
Senior Member
 
kamtsa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 1,815
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
You can buy a refillable 16g cartridge for $20 from this guy: http://www.fizzgiz.com/Refillable16gOrderForm.htm
Or a dozen of disposable threaded 16g for $20 from this guy http://amzn.com/B002H9US7C

;-)
kamtsa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-12, 09:49 PM   #22
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Posts: 29,430
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
I have mixed feelings about CO2 inflators. I know and understand why folks use them - weight, convenience, etc. And I understand the waste involved in anything disposable, even if it's recycled. But let's face if, if someone gets 2 flats a year, that's lots of pump carrying to just use it once every six months. Also 2 recycled cartridges a year isn't exactly a massive environmental impact.

My objection to cartridge inflators (for my own use, I don't object to what others decide) is another reason entirely. They're a one shot deal. If the tire needs to be deflated for reseating, or needs reinflation for any reason you're SOL. I know some people who carry CO2 and a back up pump, but IMO that sort of nullifies the reason for carrying CO2 units in the first place.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

Last edited by FBinNY; 01-25-12 at 09:52 PM.
FBinNY is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-12, 10:08 PM   #23
TRUMPHENT
Dave
 
TRUMPHENT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Homestead FL
Bikes: Nashbar X-Cross 29r wheels front disc brake
Posts: 685
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Others have said it, no, they can't be refilled. I have 15 12gram cartridges, now over two years old. Haven't used one yet. Finding a good tire was the real problem solver. I commute first and then ride for fun. I bought my inflator and cartridges in case I flatted on the way to work. Since I changed tires to Panasonic Ribo, I haven't needed to use CO2 since. I've had one flat, that was close to home on the way home. I used my mini-pump to air up enough for that. I still carry them and won't hesitate using one or two cartridges if it means I get to work on time.
TRUMPHENT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-12, 09:43 AM   #24
ThermionicScott 
Gratuitous glib and snark
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)
Posts: 13,169
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I have mixed feelings about CO2 inflators. I know and understand why folks use them - weight, convenience, etc. And I understand the waste involved in anything disposable, even if it's recycled. But let's face if, if someone gets 2 flats a year, that's lots of pump carrying to just use it once every six months. Also 2 recycled cartridges a year isn't exactly a massive environmental impact.

My objection to cartridge inflators (for my own use, I don't object to what others decide) is another reason entirely. They're a one shot deal. If the tire needs to be deflated for reseating, or needs reinflation for any reason you're SOL. I know some people who carry CO2 and a back up pump, but IMO that sort of nullifies the reason for carrying CO2 units in the first place.
That's largely how I feel about it. The point was driven home when I went on a ride with a guy, he got a flat, and his CO2 cartridge wasn't enough to fill the high-volume tire he was using. I had neglected to bring a pump myself, so we had to call the ride short.

I regard the extra weight from the pump (which isn't that much of a burden with mini-pumps) like the extra weight from my helmet -- unnecessary 99.9% of the time, but nice when you need it.

- Scott
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-12, 09:52 AM   #25
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Posts: 29,430
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
Just a thought. What if you drilled the round end and installed a tire valve. Then you reseal the puncture hole with solder. Then you pump it up with a pump or compressor.
But like I said - it's just a thought.
Compare the volume difference between the cartridge and tires and you'll quickly see the issue. If the cartridge were of equal volume it would have to start with pressure double what you wanted to end with inside the tire (the gas stops flowing once the pressure is equalized). Since tires probably have 20 times the volume of a cartridge you'd need to pump air to 2,000psi to have a functional cartridge.

Actually the CO2 in cartridges is liquified, so it's ability to expand and inflate is greater than if it were just compressed air.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:48 PM.